The BCI has launched its Crisis Management Report 2023, which examines the current status of crisis management capabilities within organizations, as well as the structure of this function and its relationship with other key disciplines in the resilience field.
Sponsored by F24, the report combines survey responses and structured interviews with senior resilience professionals.
A key challenge identified by the report was that of organizational silos. In around a third of organizations (28.9%), employees outside the resilience and senior management teams are unaware of crisis plans and their contents. This was seen to be the main issue of concern in 2023; and one which has grown substantially since the same report in 2021, where only 19.8% of respondents expressed concern about this area.
Who leads crisis management?
The board or senior management team now takes the lead during crises in nearly three-quarters (74.4%) of organizations as well as being actively involved in the development of crisis plans. Senior management’s involvement in crisis programmes and activities helps to ensure organizational support and engagement from all employees. Where this is not the case, the crisis team may lack the authority to make quick decisions, confusion with roles may appear, and the organization’s crisis management strategy might not be cascaded through the organization.
The structure of crisis management
As well as being led by senior figures, crisis management is a centralised function in many organizations. 80% of practitioners report some degree of centralisation within their crisis management processes, which helps to provide a better managed and coherent approach. However the most effective crisis responses seem to come from organizations who take a hybrid approach, offering a degree of regional autonomy where required, in addition to centralised management.
Lessons learnt from COVID-19
The BCI Crisis Management Report 2023 has also shone a light on the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic on crisis management. Among the main lessons learned from the response to the pandemic, respondents noted that having an element of adaptability with crisis plans is significant, as this allows plans to be quickly modified to suit the requirements of any event. In addition organizational reviews of communications systems, subsequent improvements in related protocols, and investments in new tools and resources have all brought improvements.